Why Are Politicians So Good At PR?

By Brad Groznik

Political Party Buttons

Many business owners think of PR as one-off opportunities to draw attention to what they are doing. When the business happens to do something worth promoting, they send a press release out or post on their blog and go back to running business.

That approach does little to create the momentum needed to make a real difference to your business’ bottom line. A better way to approach PR is to think of it like a political campaign.

The first thing they teach you when you start working on campaigns is what it takes to win. It takes just one vote more than your competitor to win on Election Day and through the entire campaign that is the goal. Most campaigns start by determining how many votes it takes to win on Election Day then building out how many people they believe they need to reach in order to hit that number. 

A strategy is developed to reach voters and connect with them at least three times; once in person, once on the phone or in their mailbox, and once through the media. Working backwards from Election Day, the campaign puts together a timeline to incorporate the strategy. Then they execute and the payoff is the Election Day results.

But most of you are not running for office so here are three tips for putting your head in a campaign mindset for you next PR opportunity.

Choose your Election Day goal
While most businesses do not have an Election Day to drive toward, they often have similar moments that could be treated as such. Think product launches, trade shows or even year-end business goals. 

Identify your voters 
Just like a political candidate, every business should build their PR around their customers. Start by winning the hearts and minds of your most loyal customers and move on to win over larger swaths.

Build your campaign
Once you determine your goal and audience, build a strategy to reach that audience in the amount of time you have. The more time you spend on the preparation, the easier it will be when you launch your campaign.

Execute and measure
Take time to measure how your campaign is going. Are you reaching your target audience? Are you getting closer to your goal? If not, you may have to adjust your strategy.